Odell Beckham Jr. was able to practice with his teammates Thursday for the first time since spraining his left ankle Aug. 21, but offensive salvation from his presence still may have to wait.
The wide receiver revealed Thursday that the original prognosis for his injury was six to eight weeks. It will be four weeks Monday when the Giants play their home opener against the Lions.
“It could be four to 12 weeks,” Beckham said when asked about that initial time frame. “You never know. Everybody heals differently.”
Beckham does a lot of things differently. That’s why the Giants missed him so much in the opener against the Cowboys. When it comes to healing, though, Beckham is relying on some harsh lessons from his first injury in the NFL. As a rookie in 2014 he missed the first four games when he hurt his hamstring, then tried to return too quickly.
“You come back and you don’t know if it’s too early or not and you get reinjured again,” he said. “You set yourself back for another five to six weeks. I don’t have that luxury right now. So, it’s a matter of getting to a point where you know you’re confident . . . and you can go and you don’t have to worry about it. Until that moment comes, we’re being smart with it, corrective, and staying on top of it.”
That said, Beckham clearly wants to play Monday night and put this episode behind him.
“I personally don’t want to get up at 6:30 every morning to get here for 7 o’clock treatment,” he said. “The days we have off, you’re here at 10 o’clock for treatment. I go home and I do five, six hours of treatment. It’s boring. It’s not fun. Nobody wants to do that, and you definitely don’t want to work all offseason and everything to get to Dallas and have to sit there and watch. I’m itching to get back on the field. I’d definitely rather be on the field than the training room, I’ll tell you that much.”
He got a taste of it Thursday, when he went through early warm-up drills with the team and took a few team reps later in the workout.
“It felt good just to be back out there,” Beckham said. “When you put that helmet on, it’s a different mode.”
His teammates felt that way, too.
“It was cool,” Brandon Marshall said of having Beckham back in practice. “It’s always good to have him out there. He’s a phenomenal player and he also brings a lot of energy in the meeting rooms and on the field. Definitely good having him out there.”
Ben McAdoo said he is not worried about the other offensive players leaning too much on Beckham’s return as a cure to their woes. The Giants have been held to 20 points or fewer in their last seven games.
“I think we took a look in the mirror and we know we have some work to do as a football team, and we’re addressing it head on,” McAdoo said.
Still, adding Beckham would be a boost.
“Odell’s a dynamic playmaker,” McAdoo said. “He brings a lot of energy to the football game. One of the best players in the league, regardless of positon.”
The offense needs that. The Giants may have to wait for it a little longer, but they’re getting closer to it. Beckham likely will be a game-time decision once again Monday, although McAdoo admitted he is more hopeful Beckham will play than he was last week.
“We’re definitely taking major strides in the right direction,” Beckham said. “It’s a matter of time.”